By Sophia Hussain
There exist a select few in this world who are kind souls truly blessed with the brilliance of design. One beautiful woman, both inside and out – went from reporting about the atrocities of the Balkan war to designing exquisite luxe jewellery more precious than gold itself.
Ana-Katarina Vinkler-Petrovic is the passionate designer behind her sustainable fine jewelry brand – AnaKatarina Eco Gioielli (Gioielli is Italian for jewellery). Since 2007, Ana Katarina has been creating limited edition and prêt-à-porter collections, including bespoke and upcycled jewellery designs for her international clientele. She is becoming a global phenomenon, as Ana Katarina jewelry designs have been featured at private exhibitions in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States.
As she told Eluxe: “There is a saying – ‘Beauty is what beauty does.’ I cannot design beautiful pieces if I am not mindful of the origins of my materials.” Her base materials first involve a personal client consultation over a cup of tea–most clients have existing jewels they want redesigned into more modern pieces. Ana-Katarina then goes about sketching her vision with charcoal pencil, capturing the essence of her client’s desire in every intricately-designed piece.
With regards to her own unique creations, Ana Katarina’s philosophy is to use materials that respect humanity and the environment, and every piece in her collection is handcrafted and ethical: “In my work I use fossilised bone, recycled gold, and Fair Trade gems and diamonds. The Upscaled pieces are created using the materials from my clients’ old pieces, of course. It is a lovely idea, as the new piece carries the memory of a past time,” she said.
Vinkler-Petrovic’s work is in high demand, and she travels extensively to her ateliers in Kuwait, Istanabul, and Boston, meeting with her clients who have requested bespoke creations, but to save air miles, she also communicates via Skype whenever possible. At her ateliers around the globe, Ana Katarina and her team of master jewellers–all of whom have been trained in the old world tradition of artisanal craftsmanship–bring her unique creations to life.
Some of these carry a small surprise: for me personally, one of the most stunning pieces has a beautiful faceted jewel on the front and a hidden symbolic “evil-eye” adorned on the reverse side. Clearly, Ana Katarina jewelry is inspired by the intricate patterns and philosophical concepts of the Orient, Levant and natural world, and she uses them to create an elegant tension in her designs.
As a journalist, Ana Katarina witnessed the human tragedy associated with war. Deeply affected by what she saw, she now donates a portion of the profits from her masterpieces to Women for Women International, an NGO that helps women war survivors rebuild their lives. See? The beauty of Ana Katarina’s work extends far beyond her jewellery.
For more information on Ana Katarina jewelry, please visit here.